Liberal mega-donor Tom “Rhymes With Liar” Steyer has been ranting on Twitter about Donald Trump and the Russians.
Here’s his latest smear job:
Is there anyone in this Administration who did not have contact with the Russians? #Trumprussia
— Tom Steyer (@TomSteyer) March 2, 2017
But isn’t this a bit rich coming from someone whose NextGen Super PAC was dedicated to putting notorious uranium-to-the-Russkies saleswoman Hillary Clinton into the White House?
A guy who, furthermore, has genuine connections – as opposed to #fakenews connections – with Putin’s inner circle?
Someone who, just like Hillary, made huge chunks of his vast fortune prostituting himself so flagrantly to the Russian bear it resembled a horror out-take version of Leo Di Caprio’s ursine rape scene in The Revenant?
A green campaigner whose war on the U.S. fracking industry curiously aligns with the one waged and heavily funded by his Russian friends?
Tom Steyer is so up to his neck in Russian money and Russian propaganda you might as well call him Impaled By Vlad.
He made his fortune through his hedge fund Farallon Capital Management (at one point the world’s 19th largest) which in 2008 invested in Geotech Oil Services, one of the largest oilfield service companies in Russia. In 2010 Steyer sold part of his holding to the Volga Group, a privately held investment group that manages assets on behalf of Russian oligarch and Putin confidante Gennady Timchenko.
Timchenko was specifically named by the U.S. Department of the Treasury as being among “Those being designated for acting for or on behalf of or materially assisting, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, a senior official of the Government of the Russian Federation.”
It noted that “Timchenko’s activities in the energy sector have been directly linked to Putin.” A leaked U.S. State Department cable put a finer point on it stating that Timchenko “is rumored to be a former KGB
colleague of Putin’s.”
But Steyer’s shady dealings with Russia go back earlier than that.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s Farallon was involved in illicit attempts to capitalize on the economic liberalization of the former Soviet Union country.
The U.S. Agency of International Development (USAID) formed an agreement with Harvard University’s Institute of International Development (HIID) in the mid-1990s to guide the former Soviet Union country towards a market economy.
Harvard economist Andrei Shleifer and Jonathan Hay, a top HIID advisor, were the two officials charged with spearheading the project.
Shleifer and Hay advised the Russian government on the privatization of more than 200,000 corporations, the issuance of government debt, and the construction of financial institutions to integrate the nation into the global economy.
The two HIID officials were privy to vast inside knowledge of the restructuring of the Russian economy. The U.S. government would later charge them both with using that knowledge to enrich themselves, in violation of USAID conflict-of-interest agreements.
Harvard would eventually shutter the HIID following the scandal.
Farallon provided the investment vehicle for a number of those schemes and was also the target of legal action by the U.S. government for its role.
Steyer’s subsequent embrace of all things environmental is widely seen by those familiar with his modus operandi as a way of cynically greenwashing his murky fossil fuel past, while simultaneously leaping aboard the lucrative “clean energy” gravy train.
It also happens to align with the interests of his Russian pals.
Russia is a petro economy highly reliant on its oil and gas revenues. As we learned from Wikileak documents of secret meetings held by Hillary Clinton, Russia-connected businesses have reportedly funneled millions to anti-fracking organisations in the US in order to protect its business interests.
A U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee report in 2014 exposed the Sea Change Foundation for its major funding from Klein Ltd, a Bermuda-based shell corporation run by executives with strong ties to longtime Putin friend Leonid Reiman, Russia’s state-owned oil giant Rosneft and Russian energy investment groups including Firebird New Russia Fund and Vimpelcom Ltd. Klein Ltd. has reportedly funneled $23 million to Sea Change.
Th Energy Foundation has disbursed to other anti-fracking groups, including the Blue Green Alliance Foundation, Environmental Defense Fund, the Rockefeller Family Fund and many others.
If Tom Steyer really now feels so very strongly about the evils of the Russians, maybe he should consider giving away the $1.5 billion fortune he made from sucking up to them.
This post has been updated since publication.
CORRECTION: A previous version of the article incorrectly stated “Klein Ltd. in 2011 funneled more than $43 million to anti-fracking groups.”